PhD Position in Economics
Catholic University of Leuven Faculty of Economics and Business

The VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics, established in 2008, is embedded in the Faculty of Economics and Business at KU Leuven. Led by Prof. dr. Jozef Konings and consisting of more than 20 researchers and international fellows, VIVES specializes in the analysis of regional growth determinants and the impact of industrial, monetary and fiscal policy on micro- and macro-economic outcomes. VIVES is looking to hire a doctoral researcher in economics. The candidate will be embedded within an ongoing research program on the “granular origins” of macroeconomic fluctuations. At the center focus of this program lies the disproportional influence of key firms in the economy on fluctuations in output, employment, inflation, exports and imports. In addition to identifying and analyzing these so-called granular origins, the PhD candidate will contribute to the integration of the theoretical literature on production networks into the granularity framework, and empirically test its implications using micro-level data on firm performance, prices, products and exports. For more information on VIVES, its staff and its research program, please consult the centre’s website


As a PhD-researcher you will:

  • perform PhD-level research on the topic of granularity in economics and in the broader area of production networks
  • collect, handle and leverage raw data on firm-level performance from a variety of proprietary and publicly available sources using a broad set of tools including text mining and web scraping to construct tailored, large-size datasets to support research in this area
  • analyze these datasets and report research findings
  • present these findings at relevant congresses and submit them for publication in scientific journals
  • apply these findings on selected cases and translate them into policy recommendations
  • support related tasks at VIVES and the Faculty of Economics & Business at KU Leuven including exam supervisions, exam corrections,  …


The ideal candidate:

  • must have completed the Master of Advanced Studies (MASE) degree at KU Leuven with distinction (cum laude)or better, or obtained an equivalent (foreign or domestic) graduate degree in Economics, Applied Economics or Business Engineering with distinction (cum laude).  Undergraduate students currently undertaking at least three MASE-level courses with satisfactory results are also welcome to apply.
  • must be well versed in quantitative research methods and techniques
  • must be quality oriented with attention to detail, integer, creative, efficient and willing to cooperate with colleagues
  • must be passionate about economic research in general and the topic of granularity and production networks in particular
  • must possess excellent communication and presentation skills; he/she must be fluent in English (both written and spoken). 

Previous (research) experience, although not required, is considered a bonus.


We offer a PhD-researcher's contract for an initial period of one year, starting 1/09/2021 or 1/10/2021, renewable up to a maximum of four years, subject to positive evaluation. You will join a dynamic, vibrant and motivated team of fellow PhD candidates, post-docs and affiliated researchers at VIVES. You will be mentored by Prof. dr. Jozef Konings, a leading scholar in the area of productivity analysis, international trade, and exchange rate dynamics.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Joep Konings, mail: or dr. Jo Reynaerts, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than May 05, 2021 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: May 5, 2021
  • Tags: Economie

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